Sustainable tourism and digital empowerment projects the focus for IRL

Irish Rural Link (IRL) – the national network representing the interest of rural communities – was in Brussels for two days last week, December 5 and 6, attending kick-off meetings of two new EU Erasmus+ funded projects.

The first kick off gathering took place on the Wednesday on the Sustain IT – Sustainable Tourism Innovative Training –  in which IRL is one of eight partners across six EU countries. The lead partner is an educational provider in north Iceland. There is also another Icelandic partner from the south east of the country, with other partners from Spain; Belgium; two from Italy; and Cyprus.


The goal of Sustain IT is to reinforce capacities of European workers and professionals in the sustainable tourism sector to enhance their employability, while reigniting the sectors’ growth and competitiveness. It will work to develop innovative, concrete and actionable training to be delivered via traditional means – face-to-face and the dedicated Open Educational Resource (OER).

The meeting was an opportunity for all partners to meet – many for the first time – to plan work by all of the partners and the activities to map sustainable tourism trends and resources in each partners’ country. It was also an opportunity to decide on logo and web design for the project.

Digital empowerment

The second meeting, the following day, was the kick-off meeting of another Erasmus+ funded project in which IRL is the lead partner. This project, Digital Empowerment for Low Skilled Adults (DELSA), addresses the needs of low-skilled adults by developing and deploying OER targeted at low-skilled adults to sustain their digital competences and lead to their socio-economic empowerment and employment.

DELSA becomes the concrete platform for collaboration among the various actors involved in digital skills for adult education: AE providers; private sector; facilitators; and NGOs, a spokesperson for IRL said. Such a comprehensive partnership empowers DELSA to respond to the pressing challenge of providing concrete educational solutions for low-skilled adults, she said.

Moate-based IRL is lead partner is this new project, along with two other Irish partners – Longford Women’s Link and Maynooth University – as well as partners from Belgium, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Poland. Both projects will run until the end of 2020.